In a previous post, I reflected on the Humanizing Online STEM grant project, which I have had the honor to lead across California public higher education since 2019. We recently published preliminary findings that link our humanized online teaching model with positive mindsets and equitable online teaching behaviors among STEM faculty. And undergraduate community college and public university students in humanized online classes report high rates of belonging with higher increases in belonging (from the start to end of a course) among Black, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander students.
The research we are conducting is groundbreaking, as, to our knowledge, research about belonging in higher education has not explored student experiences in online courses. Online education is too important to leave out of the discourse about belonging, because online classes expand access to students who have been traditionally left out of colleges and universities. Our findings make a compelling case for institutions to position professional development as equity infrastructure.
This year, our project team has begun a second grant, funded by the California Education Learning Lab, that is further scaling the Humanizing Online STEM Academy across California. We are excited to share a new article that was published in the Journal of Educational Research and Practice (an open access, peer-reviewed journal) that details the design and implementation of the Academy.
If your work includes faculty professional development and/or your institution has committed to closing equity gaps, this article will be of interest. Enjoy!
Take me to the article, In Search of Belonging Online: Achieving Equity through Transformative Professional Development.